Friday, February 18, 2011

Meet Sarah Palin's Chief of Staff, Michael Glassner

Speculation of a 2012 presidential run by Sarah Palin went into overdrive last week when it was announced she hired longtime political strategist Michael Glassner as her Chief of Staff, a position that had not existed within Team Palin.

We researched his resume and found him to be a serious logistics guy and a problem solver. The perfect man to have on one's team.

ABC News has a more in-depth look at the man and his abilities:

The veteran Republican operative who could help guide Sarah Palin into the 2012 presidential race has a close friendship with Todd Palin to thank for his new role. He is now at the top of the former Alaska governor's political hierarchy.

Friends and associates of Michael Glassner, whom Palin recently hired to be her chief of staff, say it was Todd who reached out to him in recent weeks and urged him to come aboard. His task: to bring some order to Palin's far-flung and highly-insular circle of advisers.

At a speaking appearance in Long Island, New York on Thursday Palin said she "hired a chief of staff because, to tell you the truth, Todd's getting kind of tired of doing it all for me." And her comment likely rings true for just about anyone who has seen the ad hoc nature of her political operation.

It now falls on the shoulders of Glassner, a veteran of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and a long-time aide to former Sen. Bob Dole, to professionalize Team Palin.

"Governor Palin's done incredibly well flying by the seat of her pants," said Glassner's friend Scott Reed, a former presidential campaign manager for Sen. Bob Dole. "But Michael will be trying to get a semblance of a structure in place so they can operate better and service her better."

At least initially, sources close to Glassner expect him to do the job from New Jersey where he lives with his wife and two young daughters. Former colleagues describe him as a detail-oriented, fiercely loyal person who "takes great pride in flying under the radar." They also say he is a "fitness nut" and, along with his wife, a dedicated vegetarian. (It's unclear how that might clash with Palin's love of hunting big game animals and her ability to field dress a moose.)

Palin's handful of aides seemed to welcome his arrival. With individuals working for her in California, Texas and Washington, coordination has been difficult.

During the 2010 election cycle Glassner was a supporter of Alaska's GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller, whom Palin endorsed. Campaign aides said he offered advice and helped make important contacts throughout the campaign in an unpaid role.

Glassner first met the Palins when he joined the McCain campaign as the director of vice presidential operations in 2008. He was responsible for scheduling and logistics, and perhaps most importantly, keeping Sarah and Todd Palin happy.

[ .... ]

A quiet efficiency appears to be the trademark of his own management style, but at least one former colleague said Glassner can be tough.

"He has a very soft approach on the front end," said Meg Collin, who worked with Glassner during his seven-year stint at the IDT Corporation, a global telecommunications firm. "Michael's the kind of guy who'll ask you nicely and dangle a carrot, but if you don't do what he needs to have done, he can be quite forceful."

At IDT, Glassner was chief of staff to the company's CEO, handling external communications as well as government and investor relations. He left the job in 2008 to join the McCain-Palin team, and after the campaign, started his own strategic marketing and public affairs firm, C&M Transcontinental.

"I got the sense that he kind of missed that," Collin said. "There was always a certain sparkle in his eyes when he talked about politics."

At least a few of Glassner's confidantes acknowledged they were surprised by his decision to sign on with Palin, but predicated he would be an effective chief of staff in her often unpredictable world. Palin said on Thursday that she is "still thinking about" running for president, but that she has yet to make up her mind.

"Mike understands finance, understands compliance, understands scheduling and advance," said Burke, Dole's former top aide, "All the nuts and bolts of an infrastructure -- that is where his skills are so strong. He's the guy that's always three steps ahead."

This is a very lengthy article, so check it all out here.

We like the fact that Glassner shares some of qualities and activities the Palins  treasure. The love of the outdoors, and being a "fitness nut" and so on. He and his family will fit in quite well.

We've heard some grumbling from some of our fellow Conservatives because Glassner worked with both Bob Dole and John McCain's presidential campaign.

Let me caution, that just because someone worked within an unsuccessful campaign, doesn't mean they are somehow incompetent. As you'll read, Glassner, first "worked" for Senator Dole at the tender age of 11, as he handed out bumper stickers and such. That of course led to him working for Dole long before a presidential run, and he didn't run Dole's campaign. He is fiercely loyal, so it makes sense he would be loyal to Senator Dole as an adult.

Glassner's job in 2008 revolved around Sarah and Todd. Keeping them on schedule and ready to roll.

Having read his resume, and now this more in-depth look, I don't think Sarah, or Todd, couldn't have picked a better man. This is the guy you hire to make sure the trains run on time. The one who gets things done, and done well.

Once the 2012 campaign starts, Glassner's expertise will be essential. Sarah Palin is one of the very best retail politicians in the country. She loves getting out among the people. She will travel extensively and take her message to as many places as humanly possible. Glassner will be the one charged with making it all happen.

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